Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on energy bill

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next week on an energy bill.

S.2132, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2014, was introduced on March 13. The Republican-drafted bill makes it easier for tribes to develop their own lands.

“Energy development on tribal lands is critical for economic growth and job creation in Indian Country,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the vice chairman of the committee, said in a press release last month. “For far too long, Indian tribes have expressed concerns about the job-crushing regulations coming out of Washington that prevent them from pursuing economic development opportunities—especially energy development. My bill will reverse this trend by streamlining the approval process and giving tribes greater control over the management and development of their energy resources. This will give folks in Indian Country the tools they need to spur economic growth and create good paying jobs in their communities.”

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a voluntary program aimed at speeding up development in Indian Country. Participating tribes can submit resource plans to the Interior Department in order to gain quick approval of business deals, leases, rights-of-way and other types of energy agreements.

However, no tribe has actually submitted a tribal energy resource agreement, or TERA, for federal approval. S.2132 clarifies the process to encourage participation.

The bill is similar to one that was considered during the 112th Congress. That measure did not pass the Senate.

Next week's hearing takes place Wednesday, April 30, at 2:30pm in Room 628 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building. A witness list hasn't been posted online.

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing, to receive testimony on the following bill: S. 2132, to amend the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act of 2005, and for other purposes. (April 30, 2014)

Join the Conversation